A Journey Through Technology

Week 10: Why does Palmer High School need a makerspace?

on July 21, 2017

Throughout the previous nine weeks, we’ve looked at constructionism as a theory of learning, and how to provide students with this type of learning, mainly via makerspaces. So why does Palmer High School need a makerspace? Our mission statement is the first place to look for the need of a makerspace. “This mission of Palmer High School is to prepare life-long learners, community assets, and citizens of integrity.” (Palmer High School) Based on my research throughout this course, I think that getting students into makerspaces could help prepare them for life-long learning. But what are some of the other benefits of makerspaces?

“Students who complete maker-based projects create real-world things.” (O’Brien, 2016) There can be a real struggle to connect students’ learning to the real world, and makerspaces provide the perfect opportunity for real-world application. Makerspaces also provide students a chance to take charge of their learning, making it more meaningful to them. “Creating a classroom makerspace is an opportunity to give students ownership of their own learning as they explore their own passions.” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, Kindle Location 3968) Student-centered learning is the main focus of the constructivist learning theory, from which constructionism was developed. When students take charge of their learning, they get more engaged and tend to learn more than traditional teacher-centered instruction.

Another reason for a makerspace is to help a variety of students succeed. “Makerspace projects have the ability to help struggling students see the value of their classroom work — why it’s relevant and how it shakes out in real, tangible, ways.” (O’Brien, 2016) Students who don’t normal excel in the traditional school model may find themselves seeing greater success in a makerspace classroom because they can see how what they are doing connects to real life.

According to Carrie and Alton Barron (2016), there are seven benefits of makerspaces. to those who use them:

  1. They keep them in the present.
  2. They keep their blood flowing.
  3. They foster independence.
  4. They spark the brain boost that comes from using one’s hands.
  5. They improve people’s moods.
  6. They offer a sense of community.
  7. They break the habit of wastefulness.

“Making is crucial for happiness, health, and mind expansion.” (Barron & Barron, 2016) Based on my research and learning about makerspaces this summer, I really don’t see any reasons to not have a makerspace. If there are any negatives, I haven’t found them. I can’t even imagine how having a makerspace when I was in school could have changed how I learned and what I learned. I think that all students deserve a chance to try making, so why not give them that chance at Palmer High?

References

Barron, C. & Barron, A. (2016) Seven Surprising Benefits of Makerspaces. School Library Journal. Retrieved July 20, 2017, from http://www.slj.com/2016/08/technology/seven-surprising-benefits-of-maker-spaces/

Martinez, S. & Stager, G. (2013). Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, And Engineering In The Classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.

O’Brien, C. (2016) Makerspaces Lead to School and Community Successes. Edutopia. Retrieved July 20, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/makerspaces-school-and-community-successes-chris-obrien

Palmer High School. (n.d.) Retrieved July 20, 2017, from https://www.matsuk12.us/phs

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3 responses to “Week 10: Why does Palmer High School need a makerspace?

  1. waclawskid says:

    I hadn’t thought about the mental and physiological benefits of having a Makerspace. It is an interesting idea that I would like to delve more into.

    Like

  2. Mariah Smith says:

    The list you provide from Barron and Barron should convince any school to support having a makerspace for its students!

    Like

  3. Dr. F says:

    You convinced me.

    Like

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